iPad Mini: 10 Features It Must Have If It Sees the Light of Day

NEWS ANALYSIS: Although Apple has remained steadfastly silent on the subject, persistent rumors say that the company the iPad Mini, a smaller version of its wildly popular tablet later this year. If the rumors hold true, it better have a bunch of features that people are looking for, but not getting in other tables available today.

For months now, rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to launch a smaller tablet, called the iPad Mini. The device could reportedly have a 7-inch screen and come in at a price that would compete head-on with Amazon€™s Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7. More importantly, the tablet wouldn€™t be designed to replace Apple€™s new iPad, but rather to complement it on store shelves.

Assuming Apple decides to launch the iPad Mini in the coming months, what should it come with in order to be successful? Consumers and enterprise users would disagree on that, of course, but there might be several core components that could make it a success. Apple€™s Retina display is an essential feature for the smaller tablet. It should also have Siri support and a host of other features that would make it a standout in its market segment.

Read on to find out what Apple€™s iPad Mini should ship with and why it€™s sure to be a real success if it does have these features.

1. The Retina display

Apple€™s Retina display made a splash when it debuted on the iPhone and is now available on both the new iPad and the MacBook Pro. It appears that Apple is trying to bring the high-quality screen to as many of its products as possible. Why not deliver it to the iPad Mini and separate its device from the crowd?

2. A $200 price tag (to start)

If Apple wants to get into the 7-inch tablet market and try to compete with the likes of Amazon€™s Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7, the company will need to start the iPad Mini€™s price at $200. By doing so, there€™s a solid chance that the iPad Mini will not only perform well at retail, but will also grab market share from its chief competitors. That€™s exactly the scenario that Apple would like to see play out.

3. Full Siri support

Apple€™s Siri is a key ingredient in the company€™s iPhone 4S, and will be coming to the new iPad later this year. Considering Apple will likely launch the iPad Mini right around the time that Siri comes to the new iPad, it should definitely bundle it with its smaller slate. To not do so would annoy many customers.

4. iOS 6

There€™s an exceedingly strong chance that Apple will bundle iOS 6 in the iPad Mini, since the operating system will reportedly launch around the time of Apple€™s smaller tablet. However, because Apple hasn€™t offered up a less-powerful version of its mobile products so far (it has only kept older models on store shelves), there€™s no telling if it might ship the device with iOS 5. Let€™s hope not.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...